Thursday, September 7, 2023 | 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre + Breakout Rooms
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver

Re-Orientation Day is an all-day event designed to welcome SCA students, faculty, and staff back to campus for the fall semester by focusing our attention on a particular theme or conversation. This year's focus will be on Place.  

Re-Orientation Day: PLACE includes a keynote artist talk, artist panel conversation, and participatory sessions that specifically consider place-based practices and methods, community engagement, and our positions as students and artists in the places we move through. The day will feature presentations from artists, activists, and community partners working in Vancouver and elsewhere and include a live recording of the Vancity Office of Community Engagement’s Below the Radar podcast, which will focus on the Downtown Eastside neighborhood, as well as small-group active learning breakout sessions facilitated by SCA faculty and staff. Participants will finish the day with a reflective, critical analysis of their experience and leave with what we hope is an increased sensitivity to their relationship to place—on various levels.

With Siku Allooloo, Stan Douglas, Jamie Hilder, Am Johal (with guests Wendy Pederson, Nick Blomley, Khari Wendell McLelland, Justine Chambers, Julia Aoki, Kathy Feng, and Samantha Walters), Nadia Shihab, Carmel Tanaka, Henry Tsang, and Cease Wyss.

Please note: presented for SCA students, faculty, and staff, this is not a public event.  


  • 9:30 AM: Land Acknowledgement and Welcome with Cease Wyss – Fei + Milton Wong Experimental Theatre
  • 10:00 AM: Keynote Artist Talk: Stan Douglas – Fei + Milton Wong Experimental Theatre
  • 10:45 AM: Short Break
  • 11:00 AM: Artist Conversation: Place-Based Methods and Practices – Fei + Milton Wong Experimental Theatre
  • 11:45 AM: Breakout Sessions – Various locations throughout GCA
  • 1:00 PM: Catered Lunch – 2nd Floor Terrace
  • 2:00 PM: Opening Up the Radical Present: Contemporary Art, Community, and Solidarity (Live recording for the Below the Radar podcast) – Fei + Milton Wong Experimental Theatre
  • 3:15 PM: Short Break
  • 3:30 PM: Screening and Discussion: Jamie Hilder’s Downtown Ambassador – Fei + Milton Wong Experimental Theatre
  • 4:00 PM: Synthesis Activity – Fei + Milton Wong Experimental Theatre

Reminder: no food or drinks are allowed in the Fei + Milton Wong Experimental Theatre.


Siku Allooloo is an award-winning Inuk/Haitian/Taíno filmmaker as well as an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and community builder. She comes from Denendeh (Northwest Territories), by way of Haiti and Nunavut, and is known for artistically reimagining conventional forms as imbued by her cultural traditions, oral histories, and land-based practice.

Stan Douglas creates films and photographs—and more recently theater productions and other multidisciplinary projects—that investigate the parameters of their medium. His ongoing inquiry into technology's role in image making, and how those mediations infiltrate and shape collective memory, has resulted in works that are at once specific in their historical and cultural references and broadly accessible. Studying at Emily Carr College of Art in Vancouver in the early 1980s, Douglas lives and works in Vancouver and Los Angeles, where he is the Chair of the Graduate Art program at ArtCenter College of Design. Douglas’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions worldwide since the 1980s and his work was featured in the Venice Biennale in 1990, 2001, 2005, 2019, and 2022 (when he represented Canada, presenting Stan Douglas: 2011 ≠ 1848), and in documenta in 1992, 1997, and 2002.

Jamie Hilder is an interdisciplinary artist and critic who gratefully resides on the unceded and traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. His book Designed Words for a Designed World (McGill UP, 2016) examines the International Concrete Poetry Movement alongside the emergence of various globalizing technologies in the mid-20th century. An Associate Professor of Critical and Cultural Studies at Emily Carr University, he has exhibited work internationally, and actively maintains a dormant research collaboration with sound artist Brady Cranfield.

Nadia Shihab is an artist and filmmaker whose work in experimental documentary and sound explores the personal, the relational and the diasporic. Her films have screened internationally and her first feature documentary JADDOLAND was awarded five festival jury awards including the Independent Spirit "Truer than Fiction" Award. Nadia's creative practice is supported by a decade of work as a community practitioner in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds an MFA in Art Practice and a Master in City & Regional Planning from UC Berkeley and is an Assistant Professor in Film in the School for the Contemporary Arts.

Carmel Tanaka (she/her) is a community engagement professional, who has founded: JQT Vancouver, which recently launched The BC Jewish Queer & Trans Oral History Project; the Jewpanese Project; and the Cross Cultural Walking Tours. Learn more about Carmel at and follow her work on Facebook/Instagram: @JQTvan, @JewpaneseProject, @CrossCulturalTours.

Henry Tsang is an artist and occasional curator who explores the spatial politics of history, cultural translation, community-building and food in relationship to place. His projects employ video, photography, interactive media, convivial events, and language, in particular, the west coast trade language Chinook Jargon. Presentations take the form of gallery exhibitions, pop-up street food offerings, 360 video walking tours, curated dinners, ephemeral and permanent public art. Henry is a past recipient of the VIVA Award and is Associate Dean at Emily Carr University of Art & Design. His book, White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver, was recently released in April by Arsenal Pulp Press.

T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss (Skwxwu7mesh, Sto:lo, Hawaiian, Swiss) is an educator, interdisciplinary artist and Indigenous ethnobotanist engaged in community based teaching and sharing. Throughout Wyss’s 30 year practice, Wyss’s work encompasses storytelling and collaborative initiatives through their knowledge and restoration of Indigenous plants and natural spaces. Wyss has been recognized for exchanging traditional knowledge in remediating our relationship to land through digital media, site-specific engagements and weaving. Wyss has participated and exhibited at galleries, museums, festivals and public space such as Vancouver Art Gallery, Morris, Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery and the PuSh Festival  to name a few. Their work can be found in various collections such as the National Library of Canada, Special Collections at the Walter Phillips Gallery, and the Vancouver Public Library. They have lead the transformation of Semi-Public (半公開) during their Fellowship at 221a and they are the 2021 ethnobotanist resident at the Wild Bird Sanctuary. They have assisted in developing an urban Indigenous garden currently showing at the 2021 Momenta Biennale in Montreal.

Opening Up the Radical Present: Contemporary Art, Community and Solidarity
A live recording for SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement Below the Radar podcast

In the complexity of the present moment and its multiple crises, how to orient oneself in the world? The complexity of the local asks us to hazard new forms of solidarity, to reimagine definitions of community and what roles art and the university can play. How to make new things happen in novel forms by building on progressive histories, artistic interventions and new alliances? What is to be done?

Moderator: Am Johal, Director, SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement

Guests: Wendy Pederson (SRO Collaborative), Nick Blomley (SFU Professor of Geography), Khari Wendell McLelland (musician and facilitator), Justine Chambers (dancer, choreographer and lecturer), Julia Aoki (Program Manager, SFU Vancity Office of Community Engagement), Kathy Feng (SCA alumni + Research Associate, SFU Vancity Office of Community Engagement), and Samantha Walters (SCA alumni + Program Assistant, SFU Vancity Office of Community Engagement).


Research 101: A Manifesto for Ethical Research in the DTES – PDF

Empowering Informed Consent: community ethics and cultural production – PDF

For more resources, please visit SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement's Recommended Resources page HERE.  

September 07, 2023